On Monday, February 20, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles towards the East Sea. It was the second attack within 48 hours and a day after the US and South Korea staged joint air drills, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of South Korea said they had detected the launch from the Sukchon area of North Korea between 7 a.m. and 7 a.m. The JCS revealed via text messages to the reporters that “while strengthening its monitoring and vigilance, our military is maintaining a full readiness posture in close cooperation with the US.”
The announcement came a day after the United States and South Korea held joint air drills involving at least one B-1B strategic bomber on Sunday, February 19, according to Seoul’s military. According to a report by Yonhap News Agency, the JCS revealed that during the drills, F-35A stealth fighters and F-15K jets from the South flew together with US F-16 fighters to escort the B-1B aircraft as it entered the South’s air defence identification zone. The United States and South Korea launched their drills after North Korea confirmed that they had fired an ICBM on February 18 in a “surprise launching drill.”
“The training this time showcased the US-South Korea’s combined defence capabilities and posture, featuring the alliance’s overwhelming forces, through the timely and immediate deployment of the U.S.’s extended deterrence assets to the Korean Peninsula,” the JCS said in a press release.
As per the Yonhap News Agency, Monday’s launch marks the North’s third missile provocation this year.